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ἐν ἄλλαις—here ἐν contains the meaning on account of, ‘thanks to,’ which it often suggests, just as in Eng. ‘we could not find our way in the dark.’ Cf. on c. 8.2.

μαθόντας—cf. τί μαθών, παθών.

ἐν —describes the circumstances, as very often in Thuc. in quo sumus statu. Cf. on c. 29.4.

βουλεύσασθαιto come to a decision—again ingressive.


κρατησάντων γὰρ—the διήγησις (narratio). (This excellently illustrates Aristot. Aristot. Rh. 3.16.11 ἐν δὲ δημηγορίᾳ ἥκιστα διήγησίς ἐστιν, ὅτι περὶ τῶν μελλόντων οὐθεὶς διηγεῖται ἀλλ᾽ ἐάν περ διήγησις , τῶν γενομένων ἔσται, ἵν᾽ άναμνησθέντες ἐκείνων βέλτιον βουλεύσωνται περὶ τῶν ὕστερον.)

μάχαις ταῖς πλείοσι—why this order? to emphasize the adjective. Cf. II. 2.2 ἄνδρας τοὺς ὑπεναντίους.

Συρακοσίους—Classen notes on I. 108 that Thuc. constructs κρατεῖν with accus. when it is connected with μάχῃ or μαχόμενος (or when one of them is clearly imphed in context); otherwise with gen. This rule is generally observed, for κρατεῖν with gen.=κρείσσων γενέσθαι. Cf. Dem. 8.32 ὃν κρατήσαντας τοῖς ὅπλοις; Dem. 19.319 Φωκέας ἐκράτησε (sc. μάχῃ). [Demosth.] 13.17 ἐν τοῖς ὅπλοις κρατεῖν τῶν ἐχθρῶν is bad.

ἐφ᾽ οὓς ἐπέμφθημεν—this remark is mtended as a defence, by reminding the Athenians of the original plan of campaign. Hence ἐπέμφθημεν, not ἐστρατευσαμεν.

ἔκ τε . . . καὶ ἀπὸ—one of the commonest interchanges of prepositions, esp. in Isocrates. In some uses ἐκ and ἀπὸ are different; e.g. of descent, ἐκ is used of direct, ἀπὸ of indirect descent. Even as used here, ἐκ generally expresses the more important or immediate cause.

ἔστιν ὧν—in the nom. plur. always εἰσὶν (οἳ, αἳ); in oblique cases always ἔστιν (ὧν, οἶς, etc) in Thuc., except when words intervene, as in c. 25 ἧσαν τῶν σταυρῶν οὕς.

νικᾶται . . . ἀνεχωρήσαμεν—for the hist. pres. followed by aor., cf. on c. 3.4. (Notice the extreme simplicity and beauty of the style here.)

τῇ δ᾽ ὑστεραίᾳ—sc. μάχῃ, as in III. 91. In I. 44.1 ἐν τῇ ὑστεραίᾳ = in the next day's assembly; and so in v. 46.1. But when no noun precedes, ἡμέρα is meant.

ἀκοντισταῖς βιασθέντες—in c. 43 βιασθέντες ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν The dat. is not ‘agent,’ but that used in military and naval phrases, of the general's παρασκευή. Hence ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ is to be supplied. Note also that with βιάζομαι and all verbs denoting force, ὑπὸ and gen. is common with non-personal agents, as βιασθεὶς ὑπὸ τῆς νόσου. See on c. 13.2.


πλῆθος—of superior numbers, as often.

ἡσυχάζομεν—regular word to denote abstention from hostile operations. So quiescere.

μέρος τι—the addition of τι indefinitely extends the force of μέρος.

ὥστε μὴ εἶναι—the infin. with ὥστε here expresses something which has actually occurred (it being the natural result), as in II. 4 τὰς πύλας ἔκλῃσεν ὥστε μηδὲ ταύτῃ ἔτι ἔξοδον εἶναι. The more energetic indic. construction with ὤστε is far commoner in Xenophon and the Orators than in Herod., Thuc. and Tragedy.

περιτειχίσαι αὐτούς—he might have said περιτείχισιν αὐτῶν. Cf. IV. 131 οὐκ ἐγίγνετο σφῶν περιτείχισις.

ἐπελθὼνattack, here with accus., παρατείχισμα being common object to partic. and verb.


l. 22

Ξυμβέβηκε . . . δοκοῦντας—with ξυμβαίνει and infin. either dat. or accus. is used, dat. when the case precedes the infin, as II. 61 ξυνέβη ὑμῖν πεισθῆναι ἀκεραίοις

τεand so, giving the result of preceding details.

αὐτοὺς μᾶλλονourselves instead

ὅσα γεdumtaxat, as far as concerns, as in IV. 48 ὅσα γε κατὰ τὸν πόλεμον τόνδε. Dem. 21.18 τούτων, ὅσα γ᾽ ἐν τῷ δήμῳ γέγονεν; Plato.Rep.V 14 ὅσα ἄνθρωποι. Thuc. very often omits parts of εἰμί, γίγνομαι after ὅσος.

τοῦτο πάσχειν—passive of τοῦτο ποιεῖν or δρᾶν, the regular phrases for referring to an action just described: I. 5.2; 6.5; II 11.8; 49.5.

οὐδὲ γὰρ—here begins the description of the difficulties of Nicias.

τῆς χώρας—put in a prominent position because it further emphasizes ὅσα γε κατὰ γῆν. Thuc. constantly inverts the natural order for the sake of emphasis, esp. the order of the gen.

ἐπὶ πολὺ—used here of spacc, less often of time.

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hide References (25 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (25):
    • Aristotle, Rhetoric, 3.16.11
    • Demosthenes, On the Chersonese, 32
    • Demosthenes, On the False Embassy, 319
    • Demosthenes, On Organization, 17
    • Demosthenes, Against Midias, 18
    • Plato, Republic, 467c
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.108
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.44.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.5.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.6.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.11.8
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.2.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.49.5
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.61
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.91
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.131
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.48
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.46.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.13.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.25
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.29.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.3.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.43
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.8.2
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